A furious doctor has revealed his colleagues are relying on charities for face shield donations in a scathing takedown of Daniel Andrews’ coronavirus response.
Victoria has been battling a deadly second wave of infections with 7,808 active coronavirus cases – 998 of those are healthcare workers.
Nurses from different states are being flown over to help with the shortages as hundreds are forced into isolation.
Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, who works at a COVID-19 testing clinic in Melbourne, blames a lack of personal protective equipment for the high rate of infection among those on the front line.
‘It’s a really dire situation, since this whole crisis started we were calling out for good access to good protective equipment – that means masks, that means gowns, that means gloves.
‘The problem is, its very patchy,’ he told The Today Show on Monday.
Victoria has been battling with a deadly second wave of infections with 7,808 active coronavirus cases – 998 of those are healthcare workers (Pictured: A woman speaks to medical workers at the entrance of the Epping Gardens aged care facility in the Melbourne)
A medical worker in protective equipment enters the Epping Gardens aged care facility in the Melbourne suburb of Epping
He said the level of safety equipment you have access to depends on which hospital, department or organisation you work for.
Over the weekend he had anesthetists and GPs coming to his practice to get some free face shields that had been donated from charity to keep them safe, he said.
‘That’s wrong, these people are on the frontline, and these people are actually getting sick. It’s really important that we get the equipment so our people stay safe.
‘There’s many issues here. Number one look after your staff. Number two make sure they have proper equipment.’
He said he was tired as he felt as though nobody was listening.
Premier Daniel Andrews was adamant there were ‘adequate supplies’ of PPE available.
Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, who works at a testing clinic in Melbourne, blames a lack of personal protective equipment for the high rate of infection among those on the front line
It’s not time to celebrate yet, but hope is there in the falling new infection rate
People enjoy St Kilda pier on Sunday in Melbourne with their masks and face shields firmly on as residents stick to Stage Four lockdown rules in order to crush the virus outbreak
‘We have 68 million gloves, 19 million surgical masks, 2 million face shields, we have adequate supplies of PPE.’
Australian College of Nursing chief executive Kylie Ward told the ABC many nurses were scared as they weren’t able to access the equipment when they needed it.
‘One of the things I am hearing is the level of guilt because they don’t feel like they are doing enough even though they are the spirit of Australia and doing an incredible job, it’s the burden that we place upon ourselves in a life of choosing to be a nurse and a life of service.’
A Melbourne nurse who contracted the virus claimed she repeatedly asked the hospital for an N95 mask but was given a surgical mask and a plastic face shield instead.
She was told an N95 mask was unnecessary.
She feels her health was compromised because she wasn’t given adequate safety equipment.
The state’s Department of Health and Human Services recently updated its advice for healthcare workers around face mask, recommending they wear N95 respirators when treating patients known to have the disease or suspected of having the virus.
Victoria is grappling with a deadly second wave of infections following alleged safety breaches within their hotel quarantine program.
A family frolicks in a St Kilda park in Melbourne on Sunday as new case numbers fall
Hari Krishnas cheerfully singing on the St Kilda foreshore on Sunday. Experts have taken heart that Victoria’s daily new infection rate appears to be dropping
There are 634 people with coronavirus in hospital in Victoria of which 43 are in intensive care, Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services said on Sunday.
So far, 1725 of Victoria’s healthcare workers have been struck down by the virus of which 994 are still active cases.
Melbourne’s metropolitan area has been the hardest hit with 13,445 cases compared with just 889 from regional Victoria.
On Sunday the state recorded 394 new cases taking the state’s total to 14,659 of which 7854 are active.
New South Wales recorded 10 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, only one of which was a returned overseas traveller in hotel quarantine.